"Should I Take Supplements?"
Our goal at Fuse Fitness Coaching is to give you one area of nutritional focus each week in hopes that you are able to slowly start to change behaviors that will lead to you hitting your health and fitness goals. Last week we talked about the importance of getting 7-9 servings of vegetables a day. So what if you didn’t master that in one week? Unless you have unbelievable self-control, tons of time to plan and are quick to adapt, you’re probably like most of us and changing habits takes time!
If you are not getting all of the vegetables (7-9) and getting all of the different colors of vegetables, all of the servings of protein (like fish) you should be, and the variety of healthy fats in your diet chances are you have some nutritional gaps. Gaps that could be leading to you not feeling like you have a ton of energy, or leading to weight gain or are leading to plateaus in your weight loss efforts.
I get asked all of the time “should I use supplements” and nutritional gaps is one of the reasons I take and recommend supplements.
Supplementation with a high quality multi-vitamin or omega-3 fish oil is your insurance or back up plan for when you don’t eat perfectly every day.
Our bodies’ cells perform thousands of reactions every day. For these reactions to take place correctly, we need sufficient vitamins and minerals. While foods provide many of these nutrients, especially vegetables, fruit, animal proteins, nuts and seeds, some of us simply don’t get enough in their diet. Even those who do get the recommended servings of vegetables and fruit may not achieve the levels of vitamins and minerals they once would have. Conventional and commercial farming methods and the chemical changes to food production in the last few decades have significantly changed the nutrient value of the produce we eat.
Because of current farming methods several studies have shown that an orange today has about 90% less vitamin C then 20 years ago. The following is a quote from a US Senate Document from 1936
“The alarming fact is that foods – fruits, vegetables and grains – now being raised on millions of acres of land that no longer contains enough of certain needed nutrients, are starving us – no matter how much we eat of them.”
Unfortunately, the nutrients in our foods are nowhere near what they used to be. Look at this quote from a Senate document all the way back in 1936! Even then, the government knew there was an issue with how we were stripping the land of its nutrients. That’s why a multivitamin is so important and one the few core supplements every person in the population should be taking.
A high quality supplement like Advocare’s MNS includes the vitamins and mineral your body needs as well as a probiotic for gut health and omega 3 fish oil.
The reason omega 3 fish oils are so important is that low-level, chronic inflammation are a significant contributor to heart disease. Inflammation can also make it VERY hard to lose weight. One way we increase the level of inflammation in our bodies is through our diet. Many of the oils we consume, such as vegetables oils and fat from conventionally farmed animal proteins contain high amounts of omega-6 fatty acids, some of which contribute to inflammation. Because omega-3 fatty acids found in fish reduce inflammation and are harder to come by, their supplementation is recommended to maintain a healthy balance. Omega-3 fatty acids have been in the news for the past several years, and the evidence shows that these are also critical for a properly-functioning metabolism.
The other reason I supplement is convenience. If you’ve been training with me for a little while you know that protein is essential to build muscle and burn fat. Foods like eggs, chicken, beef, lean pork, fish, bison, venison, etc. are all great sources of protein. However, like many of you I work (yes, I love doing it!) sometimes training individuals and groups for up to 8 to 10 hours straight. Eating a chicken breast and broccoli while I spot you doing a deep squat (is there any other kind?) is not only dangerous it’s also pretty rude on my part. That’s where a meal replacement shake can help bridge the gap until I have a break in my day.
Supplementation can be a touchy subject for some but I wanted to explain why I take supplements and recommend some supplementation for all of my friends, family and clients.
Our supplements of the week are MNS (Metabolic Nutrition System) which is a multi-vitamin, probiotic and fish oil all in one! I always recommend my clients take extra fish oil to reduce inflammation and I actually add an extra serving of Omega Plex, our Omega-3 supplement.